Dark Crisis is following the trend of recent DC Comics events by not having too many tie-in comics, at least initially. One of the only tie-in comics during the early stages of DC Comics’ latest event is Dark Crisis: Young Justice. This series looks to deal with the impact The Death Of The Justice League has on Tim Drake, Cassie Sandsmark, Conner Kent, and Bart Allen. How will the death of their mentors impact Young Justice? And what will that impact mean for the events in Dark Crisis? Let’s find out with Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1.
Writer: Meghan Fitzmartin
Artist: Laura Braga
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
During the funeral for the Justice League (as seen in Dark Crisis #1) Cassie Sandsmark reflects on how this is impacting Tim Drake, Conner Kent, and Bart Allen. This leads Cassie to think of how Tim, Conner, and Bart haven’t moved forward with their lives even before the death of their mentors.
After the funeral Young Justice, including Cissie King-Jones, talk in the Justice League meeting room about how they haven’t kept up with one another and their feelings about their mentors’ deaths. Suddenly Tim, Conner, and Bart disappear without Cassie, Jon Kent, and the others noticing.
In Wayne Manor, Tim is woken up by Alfred Pennyworth.
Elsewhere, Conner is woken up by Dubbilex.
At a gym in the Flash Museum, Bart is surprised to find himself training with Wally West and Max Mercury.
Later, Tim, Conner, and Bart meet up in the Batcave and discover they are at the point in time when Superman died fighting Doomsday. The three of them decide to investigate things as Young Justice.
Back in the present, Cassie tells Cissie she can’t find Tim, Conner, or Bart. Cissie doesn’t think much of their disappearance and leaves to continue following up on her college applications.
Still concerned for her friends Cassie tries to get Flash, Nightwing, and Superman to help her find Tim, Conner, and Bart. All the heroes tell Cassie that Tim, Conner, and Bart are likely just taking time for themselves to reflect on the Justice League’s death and they will appear eventually. After having a hard time falling asleep Cassie decides to find her friends herself.
Somewhere in another timeline, Robin, Superboy, and Impulse fight The Mighty Endowed. The Mighty Endowed surprises the Young Justice trio by easily overpowering them all in their fight. Suddenly Cassie in her black shirt and red pants Wonder Girl costume appears and immediately knocks out The Mighty Endowed. End of issue.
When it comes to superhero stories I at least want to find the heroes engaging in some ways. Especially when it comes to superheroes I’m familiar with I’m already buying the comic to get more fun stories with them. That is something that just does not end up happening in Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1.
If the intention of Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 was to create the Mean Girls of DC Comics then Meghan Fitzmartin and Laura Braga certainly succeed in that. But this Mean Girls direction that they establish early on with how lowly Cassie Sandsmark thinks of her supposed friends. I completely understand that none of the Young Justice members are taking their mentors’ death well. Grief is a powerful thing but for the very opening of Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 being Cassie demeaning Tim, Conner, and Bart it was not an engaging note to start the issue off with.
It does not help that we see so many heroes brushing off checking in on Tim, Conner, and Bart. There are so many out-of-character things that it is tough to get over how poor every character comes across in Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1. And if you didn’t know anything about Cissie King-Jones coming into this issue Fitzmartin does the character no favors by making her the meanest friend possible with her fake dads comment.
It all worked against the mystery of whatever timeline Robin, Superboy, and Impulse were stuck. Because while you do want to know why the trio was brought to a timeline right after the Death of Superman it doesn’t go beyond that top-level interest. This is where teasing the Great Darkness or some other major villain being involved would’ve helped this part of the story. Without that tease, it just feels like Robin, Superboy, and Impulse have been tossed aside because they don’t have a role in the main Dark Crisis story.
The only positive from a writing side I do have for Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 was that Fitzmartin’s writing of Cassie Sandsmark did improve after Tim, Conner, and Bart disappeared. While Cassie being the only one worried about Tim, Conner, and Bart was odd her concern did come from a place of friendship. It positioned Cassie in a spot to take the lead on this story as she will be the one to really uncover what is going on. Which has potential for strong character development as long as the Mean Girls aspect of the story is left behind.
Laura Braga’s artwork was also solid throughout Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1. Braga tapped into the designs of Young Justice well for fans of the original series. This worked well with the hook ending of seeing a version of Cassie in one of her Young Justice costumes. Especially when we got heavy action towards the end of the issue with the battle against The Mighty Endowed it got me looking forward to Braga getting even more action sequences to draw in the future.
Choices are certainly made when it comes to Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1. Those choices don’t work out for the best when making the series leads likable. It is only thanks to a mystery that is somewhat interesting that helps Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 from completely falling flat.
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10